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  Topic: Dawkins gnaws at the Church of Scotland< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
RupertG



Posts: 80
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 11 2008,17:49   

From The Times :

Quote
THE Church of Scotland will hire mediators to handle mutinous parishioners clashing with ministers over the interpretation of Christian doctrine.

A third of the kirk's 1,200 congregations are in squabbles between church-goers and ministers, says a report calling for independent “peace-makers” to be used to quell disputes.

The infighting has been blamed on the growing influence of atheist writers such as Richard Dawkins, the evolutionist whose book The God Delusion challenges religious faith and the “irrational” belief in a supernatural creator.

The report, by the kirk's ministries council, says many parishioners no longer accept the authority of ministers “who do nothing to gain the respect and trust of the congregation”.



The article goes on to say that there are some other effects, with the more evangelical side of the Church causing its own problems, but it's not looking good for the C of S (which has in any case lost 63 percent of its congregation in fifty years).

Cutting response from the Dawk (hm. Is PZ the Deputy Dawk?) at the end of the piece:

Quote
Dawkins, professor for public understanding of science at Oxford University, who in his book said that religion had inflicted harm on society, last week welcomed the fact that a growing number of parishioners were questioning the teachings of the church.

“When an institution feels threatened by its members questioning or thinking for themselves, it is eloquent testimony to how shallow and empty that institution is,” he said.


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Uncle Joe and Aunty Mabel
Fainted at the breakfast table
Children, let this be a warning
Never do it in the morning -- Ralph Vaughan Williams

  
jnewl



Posts: 2
Joined: May 2008

(Permalink) Posted: May 11 2008,18:30   

“'When an institution feels threatened by its members questioning or thinking for themselves, it is eloquent testimony to how shallow and empty that institution is,' [Dawkins] said."

How deliciously ironic.

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 11 2008,18:51   

Jnewl just went 3 words without mentioning Aristotle. That's not going to last. Aristotle is his father figure.

Edited by stevestory on May 11 2008,19:52

   
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 11 2008,19:03   

we should have some kind of contest to see how long jnewl can go before mentioning Aristotle.

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 12 2008,02:53   

Quote (jnewl @ May 12 2008,00:30)
“'When an institution feels threatened by its members questioning or thinking for themselves, it is eloquent testimony to how shallow and empty that institution is,' [Dawkins] said."

How deliciously ironic.

I don't get how this is ironic, please explain it.

Not only does Prof Dawkins actively encourage questioning of authorities, he works (or perhaps worked) in an environment and sector which basically demands questioning authorities and institutions, and certainly the institution he works for (Oxford University) has opened up in recent decades in official terms and the Dons have always encouraged independant thought. The whole way the undergraduate programme in all disciplines at Oxford (and Cambridge) is set up is deliberately intended to encourage independant research and thought. More so than any other UK university (and I'd be willing to bet almost any foreign university, but I'd also be willing to be corrected on that).

I'm guessing you haven't a clue what you're whining about and are just plumbing for a tu quoque, and not even an accurate or good one, in order to slander someone who's ideas you disagree with but cannot refute.

Louis

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Bye.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 12 2008,02:53   

Quote (stevestory @ May 12 2008,01:03)
we should have some kind of contest to see how long jnewl can go before mentioning Aristotle.

1 post?

What's the stake?

Louis

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Bye.

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 12 2008,04:48   

Hang on a minute, doesn't anyone know about the history of the CHurch of Scotland?

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 12 2008,04:51   

Quote (guthrie @ May 12 2008,10:48)
Hang on a minute, doesn't anyone know about the history of the CHurch of Scotland?

Not particularly. Although the Wee Frees always amused the crap out of me. "I cut my penis off in protest at the pleasure it gave me, I use it as a bookmark for my Bible" etc.

Louis

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Bye.

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 12 2008,07:55   

Well, I'm not exactly an expert, (although one of my friends is a Church of scotland minister in Glasgow) but essentially, the kirk is presbyterian, which means the congregation get a say in things.  There was the great secession which formed the Free church of Scotland in 1843 (Thanks wikipedia), in which something like a third of the members walked out.  One of the main sticking points was whether the landlonrd could choose the minister or the congregation.  For many many years, the whole point has been that prospective ministers get vetted by the elders of the kirk they are aplpying to, and approved by the congregation.  

Or in other words, I'm not entirely sure that the Times has written this up and selected bits in a way which ignores the history of the church.  The whole flippin' point of the kirk is that the congregation gets a say in things, and can argue with its ministers about the religious stuff.  

Maybe I should phone my friend and see what he says.

  
RupertG



Posts: 80
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 12 2008,16:47   

The history of the Christian church in Scotland is hideously complicated, with more schisms than the People's Front of Judea. My other half, who is a pretty mean Scots early modern historian and actually understands the whole spectrum from the Wee Wee Frees (who only recently spawned the Associated Presbyterians) to the Catholic Apostolics (very odd mob), is on the case...

But while Presbyterianism is perhaps closer to the spirit of Protestanism in its rejection of bishops, as opposed to the Episcopalians (who can at times only be distinguished from the Roman Catholics by the way that nosebleed Anglicans are rather fonder of the full-on Latin than most of the post Vatican II Romans), there is an authoritarian tendency in certain parts of the Church that may react badly to being questioned.

Perhaps. It really is very complicated, and rather entertaining if you aren't involved.

--------------
Uncle Joe and Aunty Mabel
Fainted at the breakfast table
Children, let this be a warning
Never do it in the morning -- Ralph Vaughan Williams

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3992
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: May 12 2008,16:58   

Here ya go...



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Any version of ID consistent with all the evidence is indistinguishable from evolution.

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3992
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: May 12 2008,16:59   

Of course that's just the American side.

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Any version of ID consistent with all the evidence is indistinguishable from evolution.

  
RupertG



Posts: 80
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 17 2008,06:34   

Man, I gotta get me some of that Welsh Calvinistic Meth. People were hearing God on that stuff a century before Dr Albert (pbuh) did his involuntary bioassay.

I do wonder whether the rate of schism's changed after the Reagan era, when evangelicals got talked into practical politics. The scent of power does concentrate the mind wonderfully, and you tend to be more savvy (as a group) about forming alliances and keeping your enemies close.

Part of me keeps wanting to be an atheist theologian (I blame Dr Albert). The trouble there is that while the world desperately needs more atheist theologians, you end up in all sorts of trouble when you try and talk to the believing variety. Making sense of something quite as trippy as the Trinity without either strong psychoactive drugs or their philosophical equivalent is like trying to understand why half the world cares more about Paris Hilton than methane clathrates.

R

--------------
Uncle Joe and Aunty Mabel
Fainted at the breakfast table
Children, let this be a warning
Never do it in the morning -- Ralph Vaughan Williams

  
Peter Henderson



Posts: 298
Joined: Aug. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: May 17 2008,08:50   

Quote
Of course that's just the American side.



In Northern Ireland we have a number of Presbyterian denominations.

The main one is the Presbyterian Church in Irerland (the official one). There are also the Evangelical and Reformed Presbyterian churches, both staunchly YEC. None have any connections with the Free Presbyterian church of Ulster (Paisley's outfit) which was set up indipendently by the ex leader of the denomination, rather than breaking away from the established ones. Again, another denomination preaching YECism (they also run a number of small Chiristian schools in the province). The Presbyterian church in Ireland does not adhere to YECism as such however, there are a number of congregations/ministers teaching it (it appears to be growing). The Rev. Robin Greer, an ex-speaker with AiG (UK) and now affiliated with CMI, is a prime example.

There is also the non-subscribing Presbyterian church. This is a very small liberal denomination which doesn't accept the virgin birth etc. It appears to be a breakaway from the main Presbyterian church.

  
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